Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Population size
11 mln
Life Span
9-12 yrs
WEIGHT
32-53 g
LENGTH
17-23 cm
WINGSPAN
20-30 cm

The Eastern towhee is a large and striking species of sparrow. Adults have rufous sides, a white belly, and a long dark tail with white edges. The eyes are red, white for birds in the southeast. Males have a black head, upper body, and tail; these parts are brown in the female. Juveniles are brown overall.

Di

Diurnal

Om

Omnivore

Ar

Arboreal

Te

Terrestrial

Al

Altricial

Ov

Oviparous

Te

Territorial

So

Social

Fl

Flocking

Pa

Partial Migrant

Mi

Migrating

E

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Eastern towhees occur throughout the eastern United States and southeast Canada. Northern populations are migratory and spend winter in the southern United States. Eastern towhees inhabit forest edges, old-field successional vegetation, and shrubby areas.

Eastern Towhee habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Eastern towhees are active during the days and spend the majority of their time near the ground. They primarily eat on the ground, although they also glean from vegetation. When foraging on the ground Eastern towhees use a scratching technique where both feet kick back simultaneously. When foraging above ground the majority of time is spent gleaning foliage or from twigs, branches, and trunks. They never catch food out of the air. When not breeding, Eastern towhees become less territorial and may gather in mixed-species flocks. The most common call of towhees is a short two-part call rising in pitch and sometimes also called a "chewink" call. Their song is a short ''drink your teeeeea'' lasting around one second, starting with a sharp call ("drink!") and ending with a short trill "teeeeea".

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Eastern towhees are omnivores and eat a variety of plant and animal matter. Their diet includes seeds and fruits, invertebrates, and occasionally small amphibians, snakes, and lizards.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
spring to late summer
INCUBATION PERIOD
12-13 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
40-42 days
BABY NAME
chick
BABY CARRYING
2-6 eggs

The breeding season of Eastern towhees begins in spring and continues to late summer. During this time males are very territorial and defend their nesting territory by singing from a high perch. Eastern towhees nest either low in bushes or on the ground under shrubs. The female is responsible for nest construction, which takes about three to five days. She then lays a clutch of 2 to 6 eggs and incubates them for 12 or 13 days. After hatching both parents feed the young, which fledge 10-12 days later and are dependent on parental care for about another month.

Population

Population threats

Eastern towhees don't face any major threats at present.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Eastern towhee is 11,000,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

Ecological niche

Eastern towhees play an important role in their ecosystem. Due to their diet habits, these birds consume pest insects and help to disperse the seeds of various plants.

References

1. Eastern Towhee on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_towhee
2. Eastern Towhee on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22721310/94707703
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/691329

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